Tuesday, October 4, 2011

From Two Different Culture's Come a Similar Belief

Many elements found in Israelite and Egyptian mythology seem strikingly different from one another, for instance in Egyptian traditions, their faith is polytheistic, believing in many gods. In the Hebrew/Israelite tradition Yahweh is the only god, he is the almighty and all knowing. Coming from two different backgrounds, Psalm 104 and the Hymn to the Aton show closely related themes and ideas. These two religious passages deal mostly with harvest, fertility and life, giving thanks to the almighty for his generosity. Psalm 104 reads, “He waters mountains from His lofts, from the fruit of Your works the earth is sated. He makes the hay sprout for cattle, grass for the labor of humankind to bring forth bread from the earth….” (13-14).  Passages 13-14 directly relates to the Hymn to the Aton from passage five, “the entire land performs its work: all the flocks are content with their fodder, and trees and plants grow, birds fly to their nests….  everything which flies up and alights, they live when you raise for them (5-6).  Both examples of these passages show clear evidence that god bringing a new day was highly stressed as being important for their society as well as everything that goes with that. I think these two examples stress a common theme found in many religions today, I am sure there are other examples from religious texts that show common themes to these two texts. However, the comparisons of these two deities are also very important, in Israelite beliefs; Yahweh is spoken of as a supernatural being, while Aton is more of a presence, as he is the sun.  This reflects monotheism vs. polytheism, while Yahweh is the god of everything, and Aton is the sun god, he too is the most powerful god, however in Egyptian beliefs there are over 2000 gods. This shows that Egyptians were closely connected with nature and their surroundings. Versus in Israelite beliefs, this characteristic is not as present as it is shown in Egyptian beliefs.

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